Haryana: Sirsa project ‘non-viable’, Manohar Lal Khattar government to return 300 acres of land to farmers

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New Delhi | Published: September 28, 2018 11:06:48 AM

The BJP government in Haryana has decided to return 300 acres of land it had acquired from farmers in Sirsa in 2011 to develop two sectors under the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) farmers as it termed the housing project 'non-viable'.

Haryana, Sirsa project, Sirsa housing project Khattar government to return 300 acres of land to farmers in Sirsa

The BJP government in Haryana has decided to return 300 acres of land it had acquired from farmers in Sirsa in 2011 to develop two sectors under the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) farmers as it termed the housing project ‘non-viable’.

A report in The Indian Express said that the government felt that the project was not viable because of enhancement in compensation amount by the court to the farmers. Quoting a senior HUDA official, the IE report said that the government has taken a decision to denotify the acquired land. However, a formal notification in this regard is yet to be issued.

“The Punjab and Haryana High Court had given directions to make the payments to the farmers (by August 31). Then the government took a decision to denotify the land acquired to develop the sectors. However, a formal notification is yet to be issued,” the official told the daily.

Meanwhile, leaders of Swaraj India led by Yogendra yadav have demanded that the government should not recover the compensation amount along with the interest from the farmers as per a recent policy that was framed by the state government. A Swaraj India delegation led by Yogendra Yadav on Thursday met Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar and sought his intervention into the matter.

Yadav said that farmers have already invested the compensation amount that was given to them by the government at the time of acquisition. “With the compensation amount, the farmers have already purchased land in far-flung areas or invested elsewhere. Now, the farmers won’t able to return the compensation along with interest,” he said.

“We have urged the government not to force the farmers to return the compensation, along with interest, without their consent,” Swaraj India’s Haryana unit president Rajiv Godara said.

On September 5, the Haryana Cabinet had cleared a decision to frame a policy to return the unutilised land to the landowners. The policy also provides for the procedure to denotify land and return of unutilized land, other activities to landowners.

When the HUDA official was asked about the recovery of compensation and interest from Sirsa farmers, he claimed that it has not yet been approved. “We have just proposed the recovery of compensation within 30 days,” said the official.

The decision to return the 300 acres of land in Sirsa comes just a few months after the government decided to return the land acquired for Dadupur Nalvi canal in Yamunanagar district to the landowners. The land acquisition for the project had started way back in 1987 and continues till 2009 but the government last year scrapped the project and announced that the compensation amount along with interest will be recovered from the farmers.

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